Film Duo Encourages Audience to Start Your Own Business Now

Friday, October 19, 2012

Westminster Alum, Ted Haynes ('99), and buisness partner Michael Smith presented today in the Witherspoon Maple room on how very attainable it is to start your own business based on your passions. This event, Building a Business from the Ground, Up: Aligning Yourself for Success Now! was free and open to the public. Lunch was provided by Sodexo, courtesy of the Westminster College Career Center.

Smith and Haynes gave personal testament to their experiences with entrepreneurship, from mowing lawns to founding the video production company, Confluence Productions, in Pittsburgh, Pa. Students and staff, alike, listened in and asked questions during this presentation. Haynes and Smith stressed that there is no time like the present, and that there are many resources to help students create businesses quickly. One of these resources is SCORE, a website that helps students find retired business professionals to serve as mentors. Smith also highlghted a list of helpful books that provide further insights. (See side photo.)

The presentation hit the mark for many of the attendees. "It was more like a conversation, which caught the students' attention well, I think," said Erin Sullivan, AV Services Assistant Equipment Circulation Manager. "They provided straight-forward yet empowering philosophies for those present."

Haynes and Smith have now connected with the individuals in the Career Center, so as to network even more with students of any field in the future.

"I loved the opportunity to give back a bit," said Haynes, who just returned from a shoot in Nashville, TN. "The opportunity to help others and network is too good to pass up."

Haynes holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science, has a background in sales management, and has written, produced, directed and acted in nearly 25 short and feature films. Smith is an award-winning Producer, Director and Cinematographer and has 25 years of movie making experience. He obtained an Associate's Degree in Electronics by age 18.

You can read more about their business at
All AV Week events are free and open to the public. Please contact AV Services by email at or by phone at 724-946-7188 for more information.

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Michael Smith & Ted Haynes ('99), co-owners of Confluence Productions.

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Haynes made a point to match your passion with your work.

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Smith compares starting a business to a child's streetside lemonade stand.

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Smith's suggested reading list for starting your own business.

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Students listen intently while Haynes talks about a current project with another Westminster alum.